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00:30:00

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Mr. Menat Shaw 5, Mr. Shaw 4, Renne 3, Mr. Givner 3, Studley 3, San Francisco 2, Us 1, Louis Herrera 1, City 1, California 1, Mr. Renne 1, Emails 1, The City 1, The Non-internal Emails 1, Gomez 1, Heaven 1, Mr. St. Croix 1, Mr. David Pilpel 1, Dr. Derrick Kerr 1, Ralph M. Brown 1,
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  SFGTV    [untitled]  

    February 11, 2013
    3:30 - 4:00am PST  

3:30am
the sunshine ordinance task force says, we're not going to do it. we don't care what the law says; we're not going to do it and when it's referred over here, up until this effort op your part to actually enforce it, none more enforced that jul gomez which was basically ignored by the mayor. basically what we're talking about here is denial of due process. the law san francisco gives the citizens the right whente it they have been deadline the opportunity to make public comment, the avenue of going to the sunshine ordinance task force and asking for their assistance. but what good does to do you? you go there and get the orders of determination, and yet, other city agencies including this body, just ignore those
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determinations. know your rights under the sunshine ordinance is printed on every agenda of every commission and board in this city and every meeting. and yet when people who actually do know their rights under the sunshine ordinance and come before the bodies and simply ask to have their constitutional rights respected, for heaven's sake, they get met with open hostility. i went to a meeting, a public meeting earlier this month. and every time i got up to speak one of the commissioners simply crossed his arms across his chest and rolled his chair away from the deis and back into the corner. and when i get done speaking he came back to the table. and you say well, yeah, mr. hart, you deserve that. no member of the public deserves that. because what it is is sending a clear message to members of the public, we're going to say the
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words we want you to be here and we want you to participate, but we don't mean it. earlier this evening the arts commission had a meeting where they tried to blame an expense of the sunshine ordinance task force complaints on certain individuals, when it was them, sending people who couldn't answer the sunshine task force questions and couldn't respond appropriately and simply ignored the law and dragged it out as along as they could. blame the victim. >> good evening, david pelpil. i only had a comment on the titles actually, the current regulations are entitled and i
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think it would help in some ways to add "handling," before "investigations," and more to the point on the new regulations regarding sunshine ordinance matters, i would actually title that "ethics commission regulations for handling alleged violations of the sunshine ordinance." i think it's confusing to suggest that the regulations for violations, when they are not necessarily violations. it's the procedures for handling alleged violations. so those are my only comments about titles. the substance is good and fine and i commend it to you for your approval. thanks. >> patrick again. commissioner hur and honorable commissioners, i respectfully request you ignore mr. david pilpel. as you well-know complainants
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start out filing a complaint. they spend endless hours waiting for their items to be scheduled and calendared and they go through a rigorous process of evaluating alleged complaints, but when the sunshine task force finishes their determination they do not title and forward to you an alleged order of determination. they send you an order of determination. don't put the word "alleged" in your title of the new proceedings. because the point the sunshine case ends up in a referral for enforcement, at ethics, it's no longer an allegation.
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thank you. >> on the -- with respect to the title of the ordinance, or our response to the ordinance and our handling of the ordinances, i think the titles are fine. i don't know if any other commissioners have thoughts. my view is that we do handle some sunshine complaints directly. we handle some that the task force would have made a determination on, but ultimately i think the regulations are clear and the title accurately reflects more or less what we're trying to do with them. thoughts? >> i agree. i mean, i suppose we could say
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ethics commission regulations for complaints made under the sunshine ordinance, but i think violations is fine too. either way. i think it's fine. >> any other thoughts? does the city attorney have any view on that? >> john givener deputy city attorney. your current titles are fine from a legal perspective, the proposed title is fine from the legal perspective. the one thing i would say that you shouldn't amend any portion of the sunshine enforcement by enforcement regulations tonight because that is not on your agenda. >> mr. st. croix, can you respond to dr. kur's question about 6a? >> dr. kerr is absolutely correct the bar is now one commissioner member can calendar a complaint. i'm not sure why this copy went
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out, but it's typographical or an old copy, but it's one that has already been voted on and in effect. >> thank you. any other discussion from the commissioners on this agenda item? is there a motion to approve the changes to the regulations for investigations and enforcement proceedings? >> is moved. >> second. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> any opposed? hearing none the motion passes. the next item on the agenda is discussion and possible action on reports submitted by lisa herrick formerly of the san jose city attorney's office. as you will recall and was
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referenced previously, on october 22, 2012 we held a hearing on this matter relating to ethics complaints brought by mr. shaw. we also reviewed and considered paper submitted by mr. shaw and heard argument from mr. shaw on the matter. during that hearing, we asked miss herrick to review a number of determination if they should be disclosed. she subsequently conducted the review and identified set of emails that she believes should be produced in redacted form. so this item agenda is then to discuss whether those emails
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should be produced as redacted, and if so, whether that has resulted in a willful violation of the sunshine ordinance by the executive director? any comments from the commissioners on this matter? >> do i not get a five-minute rebuttal on this? through the discretion of the chair? >> mr. met shah i will give you a little bit of extra time during public comment, but i would like to hear from the commissioners. >> thank you. >> as i recall, this relates tangentially to the subject matter of the two complaints, which i recused myself for reasons stated.
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the issue being raised in this particular instance does not appear to involve the same or doesn't go to the merits of the two underlying complaints. but i would propose that i not participate in the disposition of this question. >> i have no objection to that, commissioners? objection to that? i assume there is no voter action we need to take with respect to commissioner renne's recusal. >> you should vote to. >> so moved. >> second. >> public comment on whether commissioner renne should recuss himself? >> thank you for your integrity, mr. renne. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> opposed?
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hearing none, the motion passes. commissioner renne shall be recused from discussion of this matter. any other views from the commissioners on whether this document should be disclosed? >> i would find it helpful if someone would recap the standards for redaction? what is disclosable? and by what standard one would determine when redacting is appropriate? or unless our -- unless what we're being asked to do is purely provide these documents as redacted, or not at all? >> so my understanding and i will perhaps pass it on to mr. givner to go over the standard. i have printed out for myself
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the relevant sections. but to recap procedurally what happened, the miss herrick reviewed and determined that the redacted portion was privileged. that was covered by state law and/or local ordinances that protect the disclosure of this information, including c3.699-13a. her proposal i believe is to produce the information as redacted. >> not having that section at my fingertips, or in mind, and i don't -- but it's hard for
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me to make a judgment on this without knowing what that privilege -- knowing more about the nature of that privilege that would require that certain information be redacted. >> i am going back to her memo as well. this is the longer one. >> thanks. >> following up on commissioner studley's question, is the privileged standard that we're looking at the one we're talking about all notes, preliminary reports? controller's benchmark studies, audits, investigations and other reports shall be confidential? >> that is -- >> that is the first part of it. >> first part. >> and the second quarter part of the standards is records of any investigation shall be considered confidential information to the extent
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permitted by state law. >> correct. and then there is the evidence code 1040 section defining "official information." >> okay. and that portion we don't have in our memo, right? tonight? >> here it is if you want to take a look at it. >> okay. :mr. givner, have i missed anything? >> no, no. i was just searching to see if i had evidence code 1040. i would note that infection f1.8110b involves whistle-blower complaints and the second section you noted c3699-13 involves ethics investigations.
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do commissioners have objections to taking public comment now. >> no. >> it sound like what you are offering to mr. shaw is something outside of public comment and as a party to this proceeding you are giving him five minutes and after mr. shaw's five minutes open up the floor for public comment. >> okay. we can do that. >> thank you, mr. givner. i'm turning into mr. chatfield my 150-word testimony that i will remail so you don't have to rekey it, introducing typos.
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i'm sorry, can you hand me that copy back? never mind, i found what i was looking for. so you will recall that when i was here, in october, i testified that 1040 doesn't apply and i also testified quite strongly, both here and at the sunshine task force that c3-699-13 doesn't apply either. i have been denied access to
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these records for two years. regarding access to litigation states, "advice and compliance with, analysis of, and opinion concerning liability under -- or any communication otherwise concerning the california public records act the ralph m. brown act, political reform act and san francisco ethics code or this ordinance," are -- pay atection to this, are public records. subject to disclosure. notably, section 6253c of sippra gives agencies ten days to notify requesters, whether the requested records are exempt or disclosable and that if an agency fails to notify the requester in a timely fashion, it waives any
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applicable exemption. now two years after i filed this records request, you are going to tell me that the two years is not that much longer than ten days. sorry, you don't get to claim an exemption now when you had ten day to do it, when this case was first referred to it and you sat on my case for a whole year. do i have your attention, miss studley? moving along, the emails that miss herrick identified are presumptively public records. and so mr. st. croix has to identify any particular exemption that you may now be attempting to rely on. there is nothing in the charter as miss herrick admits that exempts those emails. they are emails.
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they are not part of the investigative file. second, the non-internal emails, which miss herrick wrongly claims are confidential under section f1.110b are not, in fact, covered by that section. although she underlined the operative description of the confidential documents, the word "communications" or any word that would describe an email is missing. under the constitutional requirements for public access, these statutes must be read narrowly. thus, the description of what is confidential can't be expanded to cover communications; which are a completely animal in the
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investigative file, which was the subject of my complaint. those should also be disclosable, unless otherwise exempt and once an investigation is closed i maintain it becomes a public record and the entire file needs to be released. this commission should ask for an explanation from mr. st. croix about why he forget that these emails were in the file. you should have been made aware of that, at least by last october 22nd. and it took miss herrick, in my humble opinion, the wrong jurisdiction to arrive at that conclusion for you. so i am encouraging you to release those emails. it's your ethical duty to do so
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and it's not your ethical duty to dream up a further exemption to withhold them any further. >> public comment on this matter? ? commissioners, ray hart, director san francisco open government. as i mentioned earlier, every agenda of every board and commission in this city has on its agenda know your rights under the sunshine ordinance. and yet it is really really a task to push that rock up the hill and get people to actually follow the law. for example, this body in my 150-word summaries, when i had four orders of derrillation from the sunshine ordinance task force, all of which were ignored until at some point somebody made a decision that
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my 150-word summaries would go into the minutes as required by law. there is no explanation about that, simply changed. so now i have got one issue being handled by four different commissions in four different ways. trying to get documents is one of the most frustrating things that a citizen in this city has to deal with. you want to get involved in the public issue. you want to get, in particular, financial records. and yet, city employees in this case, or in my case, louis herrera, the city librarian used his office to withhold public records from me. he just basically didn't want it made apparent to the public that all the claims that they were making at library
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commission meetings had no basis. but $10 million that was claimed as a gift to the branch library improvement program was just that, nothing, but claim. and so when i went and i tried to get these documents, he held off for nine months and now we have mr. menat shaw and he comes to you and he wants to get documents about a complaint. following these complaints is kind of like a black box, you drop it in the top and whatever comes out, you are expected to live with. same goes with the office of citizen complaints of the police department. i had a city and police inspector lie to be about the existence of a document. he repeated that lie to a deputy city attorney, when i petitioned for the supervisor of records to make a ruling. told her that there was no document. and then three months later,
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oh, exemption. as mr. menat shaw says you have a certain number of days, a certain time limit to claim the exemption. if you just followed the law, we wouldn't get into these issues, but you don't, and they drag on for years. >> good afternoon again, dr. derrick kerr. along with mr. rivero, i was one of the whistle blowers who exposed misappropriations in the gift fund that is at the root of this sunshine concern that mr. menat shaw has raised. what really struck us was the inordinate delays in getting our concern attended to, both by the ethics commission and the whistle-blower program.
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we also had complaints about department of public health contracts, conflicts of interests and those complaints took over two years to get resolved, at which time we had been driven out of the hospital. so having talked to almost a dozen other city whistle blowers, all of them experienced the same retaliation. there is no whistle blowers that could get away in one piece. so we have lingering concerns that the ethics commission is complicit in burying whistle-blower complaints and in enabling retaliation and destruction of whistle-blowers. i think it would help everyone, particularly the whistle-blowers, if you would
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release something and you can honor confidentiality, but you don't have to get into this ridiculous secrecy where nothing can be revealed. because that feels like you are doing something wrong. thank you. >> good afternoon, thank you. i think it's very important to say a few words in support of mr. menat shaw on this issue. and the memo, the two memos, one from your staff and the one from the outside attorney are regrettably ambiguous. mr. menat shaw is quite right to point out that unless something is specifically exempt, it's by definition "a public record," period and
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it's a public record and disclosable unless it can be withheld under one of the specific sections of the state law. and if you look at the two charter sections that have been quoted, both of them are set out within the scope of the applicable state law. now the memo before you says that we're not exempt from disclosure, but may be disclosed. well, a determination that they may be disclosed means that they were public records and your obligation is to disclose them. now i can't help, but observe, because it's come up so many times, that the ethics commission is supposed to be the most ethical of city hall
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bodies. and the fact that you have been repeatedly challenged on your own openness and willingness to disclose is, i'm afraid, the essence of this entire question. and my compliments to mr. menat shaw for being so fastidious and so faithful in his commendable pursuit of this issue. thank you very much. >> david pilpel speaking as an individual. several points i was not on the task force at the time this matter was heard. so i'm continuing to speak on the matter having not heard it when it was before the task force. also i believe i raised at the october meeting this particular
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nuance about emailed communications that might have gone between the commission staff and the controller's staff that were not part of either investigative file, which is what led to this. for that either thank you or i apologize or just working through this. i think it is pretty clear that all of these records are public records. i think the question is whether these are records subject to disclosure and to that end whether they are subject to disclosure in a redacted fashion going to commissioner studley's question. based on the memo that i have seen in the public file from miss herrick, i agree that those records that are part of the investigation, study, audit or other report from the controller's office are confidential under charter section f

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